Legislation

Search OpenLegislation Statutes
This entry was published on 2022-04-22
The selection dates indicate all change milestones for the entire volume, not just the location being viewed. Specifying a milestone date will retrieve the most recent version of the location before that date.
SECTION 103-A
Videoconferencing by public bodies
Public Officers (PBO) CHAPTER 47, ARTICLE 7
* § 103-a. Videoconferencing by public bodies. 1. For the purposes of
this section, "local public body" shall mean a public corporation as
defined in section sixty-six of the general construction law, a
political subdivision as defined in section one hundred of the general
municipal law or a committee or subcommittee or other similar body of
such entity, or any entity for which a quorum is required in order to
conduct public business and which consists of two or more members,
performing a governmental function for an entity limited in the
execution of its official functions to a portion only of the state, or a
political subdivision of the state, or for an agency or department
thereof. For the purposes of this section, a public body shall be as
defined in subdivision two of section one hundred two of this article.

2. A public body may, in its discretion, use videoconferencing to
conduct its meetings pursuant to the requirements of this article
provided that a minimum number of members are present to fulfill the
public body's quorum requirement in the same physical location or
locations where the public can attend and the following criteria are
met:

(a) the governing board of a county, city, town or village has adopted
a local law, or a public body has adopted a resolution, or the senate
and assembly have adopted a joint resolution, following a public
hearing, authorizing the use of videoconferencing:

(i) for itself and its committees or subcommittees; or,

(ii) specifying that each committee or subcommittee may make its own
determination;

(iii) provided however, each community board in a city with a
population of one million or more shall make its own determination;

(b) the public body has established written procedures governing
member and public attendance consistent with this section, and such
written procedures shall be conspicuously posted on the public website
of the public body;

(c) members of the public body shall be physically present at any such
meeting unless such member is unable to be physically present at any
such meeting location due to extraordinary circumstances, as set forth
in the resolution and written procedures adopted pursuant to paragraphs
(a) and (b) of this subdivision, including disability, illness,
caregiving responsibilities, or any other significant or unexpected
factor or event which precludes the member's physical attendance at such
meeting;

(d) except in the case of executive sessions conducted pursuant to
section one hundred five of this article, the public body shall ensure
that members of the public body can be heard, seen and identified, while
the meeting is being conducted, including but not limited to any
motions, proposals, resolutions, and any other matter formally discussed
or voted upon;

(e) the minutes of the meetings involving videoconferencing shall
include which, if any, members participated remotely and shall be
available to the public pursuant to section one hundred six of this
article;

(f) if videoconferencing is used to conduct a meeting, the public
notice for the meeting shall inform the public that videoconferencing
will be used, where the public can view and/or participate in such
meeting, where required documents and records will be posted or
available, and identify the physical location for the meeting where the
public can attend;

(g) the public body shall provide that each meeting conducted using
videoconferencing shall be recorded and such recordings posted or linked
on the public website of the public body within five business days
following the meeting, and shall remain so available for a minimum of
five years thereafter. Such recordings shall be transcribed upon
request;

(h) if videoconferencing is used to conduct a meeting, the public body
shall provide the opportunity for members of the public to view such
meeting via video, and to participate in proceedings via videoconference
in real time where public comment or participation is authorized and
shall ensure that videoconferencing authorizes the same public
participation or testimony as in person participation or testimony; and

(i) a local public body electing to utilize videoconferencing to
conduct its meetings must maintain an official website.

3. The in person participation requirements of paragraph (c) of
subdivision two of this section shall not apply during a state disaster
emergency declared by the governor pursuant to section twenty-eight of
the executive law, or a local state of emergency proclaimed by the chief
executive of a county, city, village or town pursuant to section
twenty-four of the executive law, if the public body determines that the
circumstances necessitating the emergency declaration would affect or
impair the ability of the public body to hold an in person meeting.

4. No later than January first, two thousand twenty-four, the
committee on open government, created by paragraph (a) of subdivision
one of section eighty-nine of this chapter, shall issue a report to the
governor, the temporary president of the senate, the speaker of the
assembly, the chair of the senate standing committee on local
government, the chair of the senate standing committee on investigations
and government operations, the chair of the assembly standing committee
on local governments, and the chair of the assembly standing committee
on governmental operations concerning the application and implementation
of such law and any further recommendations governing the use of
videoconferencing by public bodies to conduct meetings pursuant to this
section.

5. Open meetings of any public body that are broadcast or that use
videoconferencing shall utilize technology to permit access by members
of the public with disabilities consistent with the 1990 Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended, and corresponding guidelines. For
the purposes of this section, "disability" shall have the meaning
defined in section two hundred ninety-two of the executive law.

* NB Repealed July 1, 2024